[Vision2020] April Fool's Day Joke?

j Whitney jenwhitney at gmail.com
Wed Apr 1 22:19:10 PDT 2015

Hey Visionaries,

Thankfully, this is definitely real.  I'm currently living in Little Rock
and was outside his office when he gave the press conference in which he
said he would not sign HB1228 as is and asked the legislature to recall the
bill.  Republican Representatives are currently scrambling to find a way to
amend it, so it will be signed.  We're still not sure if they have time to
do so before *sine die*.  Hutchinson also said he's considering an
executive order that would protect the LGBT community from workplace
discrimination, but made no promises.

One of the best signs I saw at the rally yesterday was "Gov. Hutchinson, be
our Rockefeller, not our Faubus".  For those of you who are unenlightened,
as I was before moving to Arkansas, Faubus was the Governor that decided to
take a stand against the US Supreme Court decision in *Brown v. Board of
Education* and NOT desegregate. Eisenhower was forced to send in the
national guard to enforce it.  Faubus is now known as one of the biggest
embarrassments in Arkansas history.  (Tom Cotton's recent letter is fast
reaching this status as well, and may out shine Faubus because of the
world-wide exposure.)  Unfortunately, Faubus was a democrat, so that's sad,
but he was trying to capitalize on the rampant racism of good ol' boys back
in the day.  Hutchinson is acting similarly with the fundamentalist crowd,
but was shooting himself in the foot with all the attention Indiana's Pence
is currently receiving.  Hutchinson wants to keep his job and luckily, as
at least one foot in reality enough to realize signing this bill into law
would be a death sentence.

Interestingly, Walmart came out in opposition to this bill.  With their
recent wage hike, I'm beginning to wonder if they've turned a corner, but
only time will tell.  Since Walmart's home base is Arkansas, a personal
letter from the CEO to Hutchinson asking him to veto the bill, was likely a
deciding factor.

One final side note that you all won't hear in the news is that signing
HB1228 into law was the agreed upon payment for Hutchinson forcing
Republican lawmakers to "fall on their swords" and continue to fund
medicaid expansion (known as the Private Option) in Arkansas.  Governor
Mike Beebe did a great job bringing it to Arkansas and with the huge
benefit Arkansans have seen, Hutchinson would be a fool not to continue it,
despite the fervent opposition his colleagues have to it.  I was frankly
surprised that he won't be signing HB1228, but am also worried about what
the new payment will be in its place.

Yay for another day of equal rights for all in Arkansas!  Let's hope Gov.
Pence sees reason and provides some protection for the LBGT community in

My best to you all back in Idaho.  I sure miss it.


On Wed, Apr 1, 2015 at 9:46 PM, Scott Dredge <scooterd408 at hotmail.com>

> Is this real or is it an April Fool's Day joke?  Seems under typical
> circumstances that Asa Hutchinson would have gleefully signed a bill
> legalizing gay bashing.
> 'Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson backed away Wednesday from his promise to
> sign a controversial religious-objections bill, bowing to pressure from
> critics of the measure, including his own son and some of the state's
> biggest employers, who say the legislation is anti-gay.'
> http://news.yahoo.com/arkansas-governor-urges-changes-religious-objection-bill-154925529.html
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